Taking pride in who I am

We live in a society or world where difference isn’t understood, tolerated or accepted and as such people sometimes unintentionally but most times intentionally judge and discriminate people who don’t conform to society’s norms of the perfect man.

The LGBTQI community has been in existence throughout the world from inception, and whether we acknowledge it or not, LGBTQI people exist and often hold high positions and contribute positively to society on many levels.

We exist in every facet of life and often dominate the creative industry which contributes to society, humanity, the tourism industry, and the development of the country.

As such, I strongly believe in human rights, equity, and equality for all. I stand with my LGBTQI family in support of Pride Trinidad & Tobago 2019.

What is the meaning of pride?

To me, pride means a celebration and education of important issues related to social justice and equality for LGBTQI people and allies. It’s a chance for me to help my friends celebrate what they have fought so hard for.

What is the significance of Pride Parades and why are they so important?

You are who you are and it’s your fundamental right to not change yourself to fit into societal norms or the expectation of people’s definition of normal. You should be proud of who you are and that is what the basic concept behind a ‘pride celebration’ is about.

United we stand, divided we fall, and it is of prime importance to stand together in opposing the bullies/ haters in society because unity is strength. It’s high time that our voice is heard and the more the people, the louder we can voice our opinions.

Unity has brought freedom to numerous countries and is a tried and tested method to achieve triumph in difficult times. You might not even realise that this is a difficult time but go on and ask your LGBTQI friends, what it feels like to let your love be labelled as a crime and you will understand.

It’s important to show you are proud to be you! Why are you proud?

Simple! Because you are not doing something wrong, this is who you are! It’s of paramount importance to not be ashamed and scared of who or what you are as an individual.

Nothing can be changed until our voices reach the lawmakers.

To be heard, we need to come out and speak together in unity. The basic idea behind pride parades is to ensure our voices are heard and that we bring our point across politely, yet showing that we are utterly determined to bring about a change. It’s important to be heard.

Trinidad has become much more open to homosexuality and gender neutrality than before but yet in most parts of the country, it is still considered taboo. But now, people have had enough, and we are done with hiding. Pride Parades and celebrations offer the opportunity to show that you are no longer hiding and being scared.

It’s time the public understand that just because they believe it’s something unnatural doesn’t make it unnatural. It’s natural love. People also need to understand that by saying “all this is not in our culture” is not going to work anymore.

Pride Parades are not just for LGBTQI people. So, whether you belong to the LGBTQI community or not, pride parades should not be ignored. Help magnify people’s strength and contribute to making a change towards a better world, a world that is not shy towards equality.

BECAUSE SUPPORT IS EVERYTHING!

#PrideTT #PrideTT19 #equALL #QueerTT #StandWithUs19 Sohan Badall is a professional female impersonator, make-up artist, stylist, designer.